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EPP-ED conference tackles illegal immigration
By MaltaMedia News
Jul 6, 2007 - 4:36:46 PM

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The three-day European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (EPP-ED) conference drew to a close on Friday, discussing the topical issue of illegal immigration.  

In the concluding remarks of the conference, which saw the attendance of 500 delegates from the 27 member states of the European Union (EU), EPP-ED Chairperson Joseph Daul said that Malta’s concerns about illegal immigration were strongly voiced. "The situation is bad and concrete action of solidarity is required," the Chairperson remarked. He added that it is up to other countries to show solidarity with nations facing similar worries.  

The Chairperson also reminded how the Portugal has already pledged that illegal immigration will be treated as a priority during it six months at the helm of the EU.  

Joseph Daul insisted that the message received from Malta must not be forgotten, but taken outside Maltese shores in a bid to help the island solve its problems tied to the phenomenon.  

During the conference, Vice President on the European Commission gave an introduction about a package concerning illegal immigration. This was followed by Minister for Justice and Home Affair Tonio Borg giving an address about the problem of illegal immigration in the Mediterranean .

Vice Chairperson of the European Parliament Mario Mauro also spoke of policies the EEP-ED will be adopting vis-à-vis illegal immigrant influxes.  

Addressing the press soon after the conference drew to an end, Prime Minister Dr Lawrence Gonzi said that it is highly satisfying that the MEPS came to Malta and discovered that it does indeed require the burden-sharing of illegal immigrants. He added that through the “very important conference” members of the EPP-ED were also made more aware of the need for a common policy on the subject.  

The Prime Minister went on to say that the issues brought up during the conference, concerning the Mediterranean Sea and matters pertaining to maritime policies, peace in the Mediterranean region, transport and illegal immigration, are of importance to all EU states.  

Dr Gonzi also expressed his satisfaction at various positive comments Malta received, adding that the islands achievements will be furthered next Tuesday will confirm the final step in adopting the euro currency as from the 1st January 2008.  

Among those praising Malta's achievements with regards to then euro was Hungarian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Mr Zeolt Laszio Becsey , who visited the for lowering its deficit from 10.2% in 2003 to a forecast 2.3% in 2007.  

On his part, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Tonio Fenech said that “Our country is now few months away from a historical step. We intend to continue lowering our debt levels whilst keeping inflation low. This is an exciting period which we are entering into and we are committed to keep on delivering the best for our nation.”  

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  Latest update:
  Jul 7, 2007 - 7:49:52 PM CET